Friday, 27 May 2011

REVIEW: Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition

Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition
[Capcom] [3DS]
Good news everyone, it's my first 3DS review! This one's been in the works for quite some time, but now I can finally kick-start my stream of 3DS reviews with Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition. Quite possibly the most well-received 3DS launch game, Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition stands out as a near perfect port of 2009's excellent PS3 and Xbox 360 fighting game. Every single character and every single feature (excluding a few online modes) have been poured into a minuscule 3DS cartridge with almost identical quality, and there's an excellent new Figure Collection mode exclusive to the 3DS version too. Plus, you can play the game on the move, obviously! Having read this last paragraph, you can obviously expect Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition to get an excellent score, as the original Super Street Fighter IV already has a ton of high review scores under its belt. You'd be right, but that doesn't mean the game doesn't have its flaws. Read on...

As I mentioned, Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is a near-perfect port of the original game that was on home consoles. The visuals have been toned down a bit and a couple of online multiplayer modes - namely the Tournament, Endless and Replay Channel options - Have been annoyingly removed so that the game cartridge doesn't explode. Of course, the visuals can be enhanced with the 3DS's 3D capabilities, but they don't massively improve the game and are only really spectacular during the characters' jaw-dropping Ultra Combos. It's safe to say that this game isn't the best example of 3D on the system at the moment, but that doesn't really matter. 3D is just a gimmick in the end, and while it can be amazing in some games (Pilotwings Resort is a good example) it doesn't make or break one. In fact, I tend to have the 3D switched off when playing Street Fighter, as it actually has to make the graphics a tad more pixellated (not to say it doesn't still look great) in order to keep up the frame rate. I'm not saying the 3D effects in the game are bad, they're just not as astonishingly good as some of the other games we've seen and heard about on 3DS.

The game's spectacular Ultra Combos look astonishing, especially in three glorious dimensions.
So far, this review has probably seemed quite negative. It has been, but that's only because I want to get the bad stuff out of the way first. You see, Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is such a masterpiece that I don't want to end this review in a non-climactic way. So yeah, let's get on to the plus points of the game. All 35 characters have been successfully shoved into the game, each of which has their own unique personality and fighting style. There are a few iffy fighters, but I'll get into that in my Top 10 Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition Fighters feature. Regulars from previous games in the series return as well as some brand new fighters. The amount of characters to play as adds to the replay value massively, and I think it's safe to say that anyone can find a fighter they are comfortable with. The newest additions to the Street Fighter roster are by far some of the best: Cody and Guy are both characters from the classic arcade game Final Fight, and continue their stories in SSFIV, while two all-new fighters, Juri and Hakan, add even more unique personality to the roster. In terms of rosters in fighting games, you can't get much better than Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition's selection of crazy personalities.

It seems that Ken is winning this dissing contest. Ryu will most probably beat him into a pulp later, though.
Of course, Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition isn't all about the personalities you'll be playing as, it's what you'll be doing with them that matters. The first option you'll see on the main menu is the standard Arcade mode, which is the main bulk of the game. Here, you'll fight several opponents, face a couple of fun challenges and fight the notorious final boss known only as Seth. The standard fights are self-explanatory: Face off against someone else from the game's roster in hopes of beating them into submission and moving on. The bonus modes are a throwback to the Street Fighter II days, and involve you smashing up cars and breaking barrels. The former is easy, while the latter can be a bit more tricky. If you aren't a fan of these mini-games, you can always tinker with the Arcade options and switch them off. Before you challenge the final boss, you'll enter a Rival Battle. These fights involve your chosen character having a chat with one of his or her 'rivals' before engaging in an epic duel. Different Rival Battles are unique to each character - For example, one of Ryu's rivals would be Ken, and Cody's rival would be Guy. As for the final boss, let's just say it isn't a walk in the park. Depending on the difficulty you choose, Seth is one tough customer. After beating Seth (most definitely after hundreds of continues) there's a chance you might come across one of the game's two secret battles. No spoilers here though, of course.

The new over-the-shoulder camera option greatly enhances the 3D effects in the game.
Aside from Arcade mode, several other options are available. Challenge mode allows you to play the Barrel Buster or Car Crusher games in order to beat your high score, and Trial mode is an interesting distraction from the main game, giving you the task of executing some insane combos. Training mode is pretty self-explanatory. However, the best thing about Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is the online options. Here, you can play against players from around the world in an attempt to keep up a win-streak and boost your Player Points, which show how good of a fighter you are. Win a match against another player and you'll boost your PP, but lose and - well, you know the rest. Each specific character in the game's roster also has their own BP stat, which increases your grade with that character the more points you get. It's simple, but oh-so addictive. You also have to option to challenge your Rivals from your 3DS's Friends List to a battle, without the need to add them in-game. Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition's online mode will keep you coming back for more brawling, and without it, the game would lose many marks. One brand-new mode, exclusive to the 3DS version of the game, makes use of StreetPass. Figure Collection is an excellent new addition to the game, having you spend Figure Points earned from battling both online and offline on figurines of the game's roster. Each figurine has a different Level from one to seven, as well as different stats which are made use of by the actual StreetPassing. By walking past someone with a copy of the game, your assembled team of six figures will brawl their figures, and if you win you're awarded with more points to spend on new figures, as well as a great sense of achievement. While I've only StreetPassed one guy on this game, it's still a brilliant addition to the main menu that mixes up the game a bit. Unfortunately though, Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition still lacks variety...

The main problem with many fighting games is that they tend to lack variety, and only appeal to those who are into the fighting system that is on offer. Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is, in all honesty, no different. Sure, there's the Figure Collection mode that mixes things up a bit, and online multiplayer and a load of achievements will have you coming back for more - But if you're not into the core fighting, I can't recommend this game. I said the same thing about Tatsunoko VS Capcom last year. I absolutely adored that game, and even though I don't play it any more, I was obsessed with it at the time. However, not everyone else was, and I feel the same way about this title. Then there's the question of whether you should buy 3D Edition or the console versions - Again, it's down to your personal taste. Still, if you're into Capcom's 2D brawlers, I can't recommend this game enough...



Kezz said...

Excellent review, Noodle. I am so tempted to get this... But OoT 3D and Mercs 3D come first. xD

Mart2006 said...

I pretty much agree with everything you said here, and that's why I gave the game 3/5 stars on the Backloggery. There's hardly any variety, and I'm not a huge fan of fighting games.

Anyway, another great review. Well done! :)